Lawn Care According to Intermountain Lawns This information is provided to you courtesy of Intermountain Lawns. The steps outlined will provide you with a green healthy lawn in the Southern Colorado Area if followed. This is the most economical (in terms of both labor and dollars invested) lawn care program. Years of careful trial and error practices have gone into development of this program and most lawn companies follow a similar program because it works here in Southern Colorado. You will have one of the greenest and healthiest lawns in your neighborhood and your neighbors will be green with envy. If any steps to this program are not economical to you and /or are missed you may only have an average or above average lawn and that’s ok too. We service and guarantee all steps in this program EXCEPT, we do not normally perform any weed control services. Sometimes per special request we will but because weeds are so unpredictable we can only guarantee how we apply services but not a weed free lawn. Timeframe Activity Mid – August Kill all the weeds and undesirable grass in your yard. We recommend Ortho Weed B Gone or similar liquid weed killer. Apply per directions on the package with a hose end sprayer. This may make your lawn ugly, just be prepared and tell your neighbors you’re just getting started. Early Sept/Oct Water at minimum twice weekly in preparation for seeding and aeration. You need to soften up the ground to properly aerate. Early Sept/Oct Fall aeration. When the weather cools from the summer heat we will aerate your lawn. Going over it twice will benefit more (although an extra charge may apply). Talk to your neighbors and see if they want to aerate as well. It will save us multiple trips to the same area and we will discount the cost of your aeration. Early Sept/Oct Immediately following aeration, apply seed. We recommend Scotts Brand - Kentucky Blue Grass. It’s the most common grass for Colorado. With the seed, apply a starter fertilizer to aid in germination of the little seedlings. Following Seed Water daily and often to keep the seed moist to help it germinate. Mow as required at the top mower setting minus one notch, about 3-4 inches high. Late Sept/Oct Apply a single application of a winterizing fertilizer. This is a relatively low Nitrogen fertilizer and will provide good doses of the other nutrients as well. Fall is the best time to feed your lawn. It builds strong roots and helps protect your lawn for winter. You’ll have a healthier lawn come Spring. Continue to water. Once your seed is established cut watering to three times a week. A slow soaking is best. Late Oct/Early Nov Continue to water and mow frequently (no more than 1” removed per cutting) until the grass turns dormant following the first long hard freeze. The later in the year, the lower the grass should be cut. This prevents the grass from lying over and the top of the grass from dying off and creating thatch conditions during the winter. It also allows the leaves to blow away out of your yard. Remember, when cutting, either mulch the grass or leave the clippings on the yard. Although many people like us to bag the grass and we can do that too. Either way, do not allow a thick mat of freshly cut grass to sit on top of the yard. Following this program, will help prevent winter thatch. The key is frequent, proper cutting and appropriate timing of fertilizer. Mid February Apply granular crabgrass preventer. Use a generic brand, lower nitrogen from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Use the manufacturer’s recommended application rate. It’s worth it because you won’t get crabgrass next August and you won’t feel like you have to start over again every year. March/April Spring aerate your lawn. Going over it twice will benefit more (although an extra charge may apply). Colorado soil has a lot of clay and compacts easily. Aerating twice a year is highly recommended. Again, talk to your neighbors and see if they want to aerate as well. It will save us multiple trips to the same area and we will discount the cost of your aeration. March/April Immediately after aeration apply a Spring Fertilizer high in nitrogen at the recommended dosage; this will give the grass a deep green color. By this time, we should be preparing to cut the grass once a week (cutting when 1” needs to be removed). It’s worth the extra mowing effort because it keeps the lawn looking nice and is better for the grass. Cutting 1” maximum lets the clippings stay on the lawn and they will disappear naturally. We don’t have to collect clippings or rake using this program. Although many people like us to bag the grass and we can do that too. In the Spring, we’ll reverse the order of our cutting height from what we did in the fall. We’ll start at the lower setting and gradually raise the cut height as the average temperature increases. A good rule of thumb is raise one notch per 10 degrees of increased daytime high temperature. By early to mid June we should be at the top mower height, this provides adequate shade to the roots during the hot summer. The lower height during the early spring generates quick greening and healthy growth by warming the root zone more quickly. We’ll cut at the top level until the weather cools again in September. May - July Apply a single application of low nitrogen summer fertilizer (maybe 10-10-10). Using 2 half applications over a two week period for slower feeding, works great in May. Or 1 full application in early July will carry you through the summer. Early September Assuming that you’ve killed any weeds during August, start the program all over again. Intermediate Items – About every other year, apply Lime to neutralize the effect of repeated fertilizer applications. Aerate often, and thorough to keep the soil as soft as possible. Try not apply weed and feed products (they confuse the plants). Spot spray for weeds throughout the growing season (it takes about 15 minutes once a month). Only apply broadcast weed killers when you have a significant area needing treatment. If you run into grubs or other insect problems, apply treatments per the manufacturer’s recommendations in late May and mid July (this coincides with the life cycle pattern of the grubs). With this program, you shouldn’t run into fungus, but if you do, treat with a fungicide per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Water in the early part of the day. Do not water at night. Less frequent, more thorough deep soaking watering is best for the long term health of your lawn. Use a broadcast spreader for all applications of products to your lawn (you get more even coverage).